Perhaps the Europa League was never going to be at the top of the priorities for Everton this season.
However, having started the Premier League season in disappointing fashion, Ronald Koeman may need to assess his priorities and try and use the Europa League as a way of playing in Europe again next season.
The Toffees have been drawn in Europa League Group E along with Atalanta, Lyon and Apollon Limassol.
While this was never going to be an easy group, Everton would have expected to at least be above the Cypriot team at this stage, having already played them at home. That’s not the case and Everton head in to their third fixture of the group, at home to Lyon, sitting bottom of the group.
The 2017/18 Europa League group stage started poorly for Everton as they slumped to a 3-0 defeat in Atalanta. Everton were never in the game and having fallen 3-0 down by half-time, there was a real danger the result could become embarrassing.
Everton held the hosts to a 0-0 stalemate in the second half but things did not improve in the home match against Apollon Limassol last time out.
Koeman’s team fell behind early on but fought their way back to eventually take the lead through goals from Wayne Rooney and Nikola Vlasic. Despite being down to ten men, Apollon Limassol were not done and equalised with just 2 minutes left on the clock, leaving Goodison Park in stunned silence.
Everton have it all to do following that draw and come up against a tough Lyon outfit.
The French club are second in the group, having drawn both their matches. The first was a 1-1 draw in Cyprus and having gone into additional team leading the match, Lyon conceded an equaliser right at the death.
The second match was a 1-1 draw at home with Atalanta and again Lyon surrendered the lead. They will need to work on defending a lead, if they are to progress in the Europa League this season.
Lyon’s overall form this season shows them as a difficult side to beat and they have lost only one of their eleven matches in all competitions, which was away to Paris Saint-Germain. On the weekend they recorded a good 3-2 win over Monaco.
Everton have recovered somewhat from a poor run of form and have lost one of their last five games. However, they have failed to win any of their last three.
Team news and Everton are still without Yannick Bolasie, Ramiro Funes Mori and Ross Barkley due to injury. Lyon have injury concerns over Clement Grenier, Fernando Marcal and Pape Cheikh but Marcelo could come back into the team having been suspended on the weekend.
Trends show both teams have scored in each of Lyon’s last ten Europa League matches and we should be in for some goals in this match. Everton have scored 2 or more goals in seven of their last nine home Europa League games and this match looks set to see both team scoring with a draw the most likely outcome.